• Class Number 3771
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Ben Mercer
    • Dr Ben Mercer
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

At the conclusion of the Second World War in 1945, Europe was reduced to rubble. This course examines the troubled history of attempts to re-establish prosperity and democracy in the postwar period. In Eastern Europe, Communist dictatorships claimed to provide a superior political and economic system. In Western Europe, the strengthening of democracy often took a back seat to the demands of the Cold War, the legacies of totalitarianism, the reluctance to decolonise and the prioritisation of economic growth. Protest and dissent - from students, feminists and terrorists – marked both East and West. This course examines the origins and contradictions of contemporary European politics and society in order better to understand the trials and tribulations of Europe in the early 21st century. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the history of Europe since 1945;
  2. critically evaluate key interpretations of late 20th-century Europe’s social, cultural and political history;
  3. analyse and integrate primary and secondary sources into written work; and
  4. demonstrate the significance of late 20th-century Europe for today's world.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 1945: Zero Hour?
2 Cold War Democracy
3 The Shadow of Genocide
4 The Welfare State
5 Decolonisation
6 Consumerism
7 1968
8 Feminism
9 The Power of the Powerless
10 1989
11 Television Democracy
12 Conclusion

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Document Exercise 25 % 18/03/2024 1,2,3,4
Essay Proposal 15 % 19/04/2024 1,2,3,4
Research Essay 40 % 31/05/2024 1,2,3,4
Lecture Responses 10 % * 1,2,4
Tutorial Participation 10 % * 1,2,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 18/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Document Exercise

Word length: 1250 words.

This task asks you to analyse critically a set of documents, and to develop a question that you will answer using the documents as evidence for an argument. Further details on Wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 19/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Essay Proposal

Word Length: 500 words. This task asks you to identify a primary source or set of primary sources that will be the basis of your research essay and develop a research question related to that source.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 31/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Essay

Word Length: 2500 words. Write a research essay using both primary and secondary sources on a topic of your choosing in the field of European history since 1945. See Wattle for further details.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Lecture Responses

Four 250 words responses are due across the course of the semester. For each response, write a brief argument in answer to one of the questions posted about the lecture, using the information and materials provided in the lecture. Two responses are due in before the teaching break and two before the exam period.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Tutorial Participation

A student's tutorial participation is worth 10%.


Tutorial performance is the mark a tutor gives the student for their contribution to tutorials. The tutor will be looking for evidence that the student has done the tutorial reading, and is willing to share ideas, listen to other students and participate in group discussion. Although attendance at tutorials is obligatory, allowance will be made for absences caused by illness or personal circumstances provided the tutor is informed in time. More than two unexplained absences will significantly affect the participation mark.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. OR Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Ben Mercer

Research Interests

Dr Ben Mercer

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Ben Mercer

Research Interests

Dr Ben Mercer

By Appointment
By Appointment

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